USS John F. Kennedy to be christened by JFK's daughter Saturday in Newport News

Julia LeDoux
December 06, 2019 - 9:45 am
USS Enterprise

The Navy will christen its newest aircraft carrier Saturday during a ceremony at Newport News, Virginia.

The future USS John F. Kennedy is the second aircraft carrier of the Gerald R. Ford-class, according to a Department of Defense release. It will replace the USS Nimitz when that ship is decommissioned.

Former NASA Administrator retired Marine Maj. Gen. Charles F. Bolden, will deliver the ceremony's keynote address. Ambassador Caroline Kennedy, President John F. Kennedy’s daughter, will serve as the ship's sponsor. She will break a bottle of American sparkling wine against a plate welded to the hull.

Acting Secretary of the Navy Thomas Modly said the ship will carry on the legacy of its namesake and will be a symbol of the nation’s power.

''The advanced technology and warfighting capabilities this aircraft carrier brings to our global challenges will strengthen our allies and partners, extend our reach against potential adversaries, and further the global mission of our integrated naval force,” he said.

CVN 79 is the second aircraft carrier to honor Kennedy for a lifetime of service to the nation. He served as a Navy lieutenant during World War II and as the nation’s 35th president, from January 1961 to November of 1963.

Built by Huntington Ingalls Industries' Newport News Shipbuilding division, the Gerald R. Ford-class incorporates advances in technology, such as a new propulsion system, electric plant, Electromagnetic Aircraft Launch System (EMALS), Advanced Arresting Gear (AAG), machinery control, radars and integrated warfare systems.

The CVN 79 is 1,092 feet in length and weighs 100,000 tons.

The ceremony can be viewed on the Navy Live blog at 

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